The last time we posted tasting notes on any Dalmore was just under a year ago and that was a rather special dram. This time round, I’m happy to say is just a special as last years 49-year-old L’Anima. A few days ago we were invited to a very exclusive with dinner with Mr Paterson, where we’d get to sip some of Dalmore’s finest drams; along with the recently released 51-year-old expression. The Dalmore Aged 51 Years began its maturation journey in ex-bourbon casks and was then distributed between prestigious Port Colheita 1938 casks, exclusive Matusalem sherry casks and first fill bourbon casks. The spirit was finally reunited in specially selected bourbon barrels for a final flourish, demonstrating how deeply The Dalmore treasures the sanctity of the cask.
Richard Paterson, who has been the creative force behind the brand for over fifty years, joined in 1970. He has developed a fearsome reputation for the curation of exquisite casks, sourcing exceptional casks from the world’s finest bodegas and wineries to craft different expressions had this to say about his latest creation: “The Dalmore 51 Year Old is a noble single malt of rare profundity and it has been my pleasure to closely follow its maturation over five decades. I am always looking towards the future and I carefully consider how each distillation will evolve, moving our spirits to new wood to transform their conclusion. The Dalmore 51 Year Old is a fine example of this.”
Presented in a striking decanter and adorned with the iconic 12-point ‘Royal’ stag in Sterling silver and crowned with a crystal stopper, each bottle pays homage to The Dalmore’s Royal heritage. Every decanter is held in a hand-crafted high gloss coffret case crafted from black sycamore wood echoing the sophistication of the liquid within.
On the nose: there is a lovely waft of black morello cherries, strawberries, cranberries, vanilla and toffee. These initial notes are closely followed by almonds, blackcurrants, figs and poached pears. Spicy notes of cinnamon and star anise start to emerge, followed by a green herbaceous note, lavender and black molasses. Completing the nose are notes of sanguinello oranges, rose water, coffee, balsamic and a hint of black truffle. On the palate: those sanguinello oranges notes are ever-present, followed by demerara sugar, thyme, cranberries, currants and black morello cherries. Notes of raisins, plums and ginger cake start to emerge, alongside notes of poached pears, cinnamon and liqourice. Rounding-off the palate are notes of tobacco, treacle, white pepper, toasted barley, chocolate, pineapple and dates. The finish: is long, bittersweet, with lingering notes of walnuts, burnt oranges, green herbs and a hint of mint.
The verdict: As expected, this 51-year-old expression from The Dalmore is very special indeed. With tonnes of depth in flavour and some rater unexpected but much appreciated notes. This 51-year-old expression, has an ABV of 40%, which is quite low but this low volume wasn’t noticeable. This is perhaps a dram that doesn’t require any water but if you feel the need to add water, then only add a few drops.
Since the end of 2019, The Dalmore has been celebrating its 180th anniversary – a landmark which will be marked by a series of special releases and events throughout this year. The Dalmore Aged 51 Years is available to purchase at a selection of retail and travel retail outlets across the globe, suggested RRP £55,000. For more information, please visit The Dalmore.